FARGO — For Casey Hillebrand of Fargo, it's just another morning as he shovels out part of the sidewalk leading up to his apartment building on 13th Avenue South.
The digging got him thinking: How could he help out the entire neighborhood, and maybe some firefighters?
"I just saw my fire hydrant was covered with snow, and in light of the latest news, I figured I'd better start uncovering some fire hydrants," Hillebrand said.
And that's exactly what he did, as he posted pictures to his Facebook page of him clearing out hydrants around town.
During the clearing, he also timed himself — one on 10th Street took him about 15 minutes, and one near The Meadows on University only took him five.
"In front of it was a little cleared, and then behind it, it was cleared, but the hydrant was full of snow," Hillebrand said. "I just dug out a little bit of snow from the end, so it was just a quick "one-two" kind of deal."
Clearing the hydrants is all part of his "Unhide a Hydrant Challenge," and it's gotten the attention of many, including his neighbor Nikki Simonson, who's lived next door to Hillebrand for the past two years.
"It really makes me feel comfortable knowing that if there was a fire in our building that the firemen would be able to get to the hydrants and get everybody to safety," Simonson said.
Hillebrand said with each dig, he feels a good burn.
"It gets a good breath in, you get the blood flowing, and I'm energized right now," he said. "I've got to work in a little bit; I'm ready to rock."
But in case the exercise part isn't appealing to you, Hillebrand has a sweet way of thinking about shoveling.
"It reminds me of cake," he said.
Hillebrand hopes the shoveling effort can spread all across town, with many fire hydrants still buried.
"Be productive, help your neighbors, and most of all, help the firefighters out," he said.
Hillebrand's goal is to shovel at least 20 fire hydrants by himself this year, and once he gets those done, he wants to move on to bus stops.